Data science is an incredibly diverse data-driven field. It is the combination of several different disciplines such as statistics, data analysis, machine learning, and computer science. Because of the broad scope of data science, there are jobs in the field across the board; you can work in business, finance, forensics, or even in medical. Glassdoor has rated data science jobs as the top in America for 2018, and it is the third year in a row that it has asserted this because it is growing exponentially each year, pays well, and allows someone to work closely in an area they are passionate about in a tech-centric way that hasn’t always been available in the past.
The amount of career opportunities when you are a data science major are virtually endless. IBM predicts that the demand for data scientists will increase 28% from 2017 to 2020; McKinsey & Co. reported that in 2018 there are nearly 500,000 data science jobs with only 200,000 qualified individuals available. As people continue to create data, more people will be required to process it all.
There are options in accounting, business, defense, forensics, architecture, construction, consumer electronics, pharmaceuticals, entertainment, healthcare, and more. In any of these industries, there is a need to collect and process information on a larger scale, so those who are trained in data science can flourish within them.
Many schools offer data science programs alongside business programs or even concentrations in criminal justice or healthcare administration. It is generally considered that there are four types of careers in data science: analysts, engineers, statisticians, and intelligence reporters.
Analysts are tasked with market research, or scrutinizing data collected by a company and making projections based on that. In addition, you will have to compose and report your findings in a way that is meaningful to the company. As an example, if you work for a clothing company, you would have to look at shopping patterns and be able to project what season a particular item might perform best in.
This is similar to intelligence reporters, who will collect data and report it to their employers. However, intelligence reporters will not go as in-depth with the research that they conduct and will not have to make as many detailed projections.
Statisticians will have to use the information collected by their employers to create statistics, as well as analyze existing statistics to create relevant reports. Usually, government agencies, authorities, and market research companies are some places you would fit in as a statistician. Engineers are responsible for the software behind the scenes, creating and maintaining software to collect and organize the data. This is also sometimes called data mining and requires extensive knowledge of scripting and programming.